Category Archives: Instagram

Instagram for Business

sophieOne of my favorite clothes boutiques from back home, Sophie & Trey, really knows how to work Instagram for Business successfully. Their bio encourages customers to “Wear it. Share it” via the #sophieandtrey hashtag. One brilliant feature they run is “Fan Friday”,  a weekly post of a collection of photos shared by customers wearing an S&T outfit that week. The boutique takes the time to search through their hashtag, and give shoutouts to their favorite outfits. These posts drive customers to share their purchases in anticipation of acknowledgment from the store! They also run monthly contests which require users to repost and tag a specific picture. This all drives traffic to Sophie and Trey’s Instagram, who have acquired 23k followers!

A business account with that many followers is proof that Instagram is not just a mobile app solely used for personal pictures. Instagram offers an array of possibilities for businesses to promote their brand.  These photos can lead potential customers to your website to make a purchase, and keep current customers coming back for more!

Here are some tips to make Instagram work for your business:

  • Tag appropriate keywords, captions, and hashtags that associate with your business
  • Use creative photos that make customers feel what your brand is all about
  • Connect your Instagram to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media so the picture automatically uploads to each when posted
  • Interact with current and potential customers on Instagram by responding to their comments or following them back. Remember that one awesome post is much more effective that a bunch of mediocre ones. Be sure to practice moderation, as you don’t want to flood others feed
  • Feature customers using your products
  • Promote photo contests you engage with your customers

Do you have a favorite brand you follow on Instagram?

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Social Media & First Dates

Last week I talked about social media in my sister’s relationship with her new boyfriend.  Now let’s talk about mine.  Before you go on a first date with someone, do you friend request them?  Over the weekend, I met someone new who asked to see me again.  While drinking my Monday morning coffee this morning and beginning my daily e-mail and social media check, there it was: A Facebook friend request from my future date.

Too soon?  If we become friends now, he has the opportunity to find out all of my interests, likes, and recent activity before we speak again. There are 3,000 pictures of me including some with my ex, me as a baby, my sisters and mom, etc.  On this first date does he pretend he doesn’t already know that I grew up riding horses?  That I just drove across the country from Florida to move to California? Or-  How I look in a bathing suit?

What if he sees something they don’t like?  Can your social media presence affect your dating potential?

I haven’t accepted the friend request, and don’t plan on doing so until after the date.  Don’t we want to get to know each other face to face instead of through the Internet?  When do you think it is appropriate to send that friend request?  Before your first date, right after your first date, or after multiple dates?  Ahhhh, as if dating was already stressful enough!

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Social Media Magic

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There is no magic formula when it comes to social media, no big secret those with a big following are keeping. But there are key ingredients to social media success that you need to implement to get the results you’re looking for. I think of them as the three C’s, and without them, a social media campaign can be entirely forgettable.

Content

People log onto social media to connect with you and learn something new. I bet you have great story that needs to be told. Each post you create is another chapter in the that story. People love a good read and they stay loyal to their favorite authors. You want to be one of those authors. Provide a reason to come back and look for your posts, become their favorite author. Write cool content, engage in the conversations that happen around that content, and watch your social media presence expand.

Creativity

It’s what makes you stand out.  The competition for followers is tough; so get creative in your content.  Include a funny video or interesting photos to keep your visitors engaged.  Social media allows you to express yourself, so take advantage of it!

Consistency

Social media is not just about relationship building, it’s about relationship sustainability. One big fail of many bloggers and other social media users is their inconsistent posting. A single post on Facebook followed by nothing else for several weeks is 100% guaranteed not to increase traffic to you. If people are coming back to you, they expect to see new content. Talk to them on a regular basis through questions and comments, and make the conversation relevant. Sustain the relationship you have with your followers.

Like I said, there’s no magic way to make social media success work faster.  But by implementing the 3 C’s it will.  It takes focus, planning, and little mental elbow grease.  But with these  tips, you will find your social media presence increasing, and on the path to long-term success!

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My Social Media Vacation Challenge

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Do you let social media affect your day?  Before Facebook and Twitter, if someone was talking about you (or ignoring you) you might not hear about it for a while – or ever.  Unless you overheard a conversation at school, a friend told you, or you spoke to that person directly, how could it affect you?

Now, with social media, everything is happening right in front of you.  If someone posts a nice (or rude) comment about you, you’ll see it.  If the tweet you thought was so brilliant is never retweeted, you’ll know. So in essence, social media can make or break your day – if you let it.

My advice: do not take social media too seriously. Online interaction forces you to find out about things interpersonal communication might not subject you to. If you spend too much time with something, it’s bound to have an impact.  Don’t let social media effect how you feel, because you’ll end up on an emotional roller coaster that seems impossible to get off.

My challenge to you: take a little vacation away from social media this summer.  I love social media just as much as the next person, but everyone needs time away from the things they love, right?  Trust me- you’ll come back to your Facebook feed feeling refreshed.  At the beginning of summer I drove across the country from Florida to California.  On 1-10 West through Texas there is zero phone service and believe it or not- I survived the 10 hour day without Instagram!

Do you accept my social media vacation challenge?

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VMAs on Vine & Instagram

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Tomorrow MTV is announcing their VMA nominations exclusively through videos released on Vine and Instagram. MTV is among many brands to use social media marketing platforms, but their the first award show to do so.

Beginning at 8 am ET, eight videos, one released per hour, will surface for the #RoadToTheVMAs campaign.

The VMAs is celebrating their 30th Anniversary show in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on August 25th. MTV has over a million followers on Instagram and 100,000 on Vine. These video apps are perfect for targeting MTV’s young, hip, social-media-loving audience.

Do you think this is as genuis of an idea as I do? I honestly don’t have time to watch TV, so I would miss any commercials MTV aired releasing these nominees. I do, however, always manage to find time in my work day to check my Instagram and Vine feed (okay, okay- more than a couple times).

I’m looking forward to seeing how the videos turn out, are you?

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Trayvon & Zimmerman Online

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What started as a small story in Sanford, Florida (my hometown) rapidly grew on the Internet and became a nationwide topic. In Febuary of 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in what he says, was self defense. I remember listening to the local news cover it the next morning, and not thinking much into it. Sanford doesn’t have the best reputation, and the story didn’t surprise me.

According to the Miami Herald, “Among the first to publicize the story was nationally syndicated radio host Michael Baisden, who sent a message to his 65,000 Twitter followers and 585,000 Facebook fans: “Unarmed 17-year-old boy shot by neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, FL outside of Orlando.”

Once the Internet caught wind of the story, the situation was played out and fueled on by social media. Imagine my surprise to be in California the summer of 2012 and watching my little hometown, Sanford, dominate headlines across the country.

It never slowed down. Over the course of the past three weeks of trial, Instagram was flooded with users posting pictures of them in hoodies or with skittles and ice tea, with the hashtag #blackout or #justicefortrayvon to represent Martin.

The case came to a close on Saturday night with a not guilty verdict. Martin’s parents were not present in the courtroom for the announcement and took to Twitter for their response seconds following it:

The reaction to the verdict took over social media, with Trayvon’s name dominating the hashtags, along with #manslaughter, #florida, and #sanford trending on Twitter.  Facebook newsfeeds were also flooded with anyone and everyone’s opinion on the matter.

Did you voice your opinion on the verdict on social media?

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Social Media Day 2013

Did you know there’s an entire day devoted to social media lovers like us?  Social Media Day, hosted by Mashable, celebrated the connected generation around the world on June 30th for the 4th year in a row. Over 118,000 tweets regarding the celebration from six different continents were posted via the hashtag #SMDAY.

Across the globe different meetups were organized to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes. Personally, my first memory of social media beginning to impact my life was sophmore year of high school. Mind you, this was back in 2005- Myspace’s prime time. It was the most visited social network in the world, and all my friends were starting to build profiles. I remember you could choose your top eight friends to be on your profile (in order!). Giving a group of 16-year-old girls the chance to rank their friends based on the drama of the day? Of course we were hooked!  Don’t even get me started on my first public relationship change.

So much has changed since my Myspace days. Now I run a number of social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest) for myself and others. It’s funny to remember how it all started and one of many reasons to celebrate Social Media Day 2013!

If your city doesn’t recognize the day, fear not. You can submit a proclamation request to your City Hall. Remember why the day is important to your city; Social Media is a way to connect your community. If anything, celebrate by just giving yourself a  minute to reminicise on your first media memories.

Share your Social Media Day 2013 memories or celebrations with me!

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